Buying a caravan

If it’s been your dream to go and see Australia, or to create great family memories that you ‘ll talk about for years, then caravanning is the way to go! The decision to buy a caravan is a big one, so getting it right will ensure you fully enjoy life in the great outdoors.

Whether it’s a new or second-hand caravan, camper trailer or motorhome there are several steps that you should consider to make sure that your choice is the right one and best suited to your needs.

This is a major decision and often a big investment, so research is the key.

Here are CIL Insurance’s top 7 tips to consider when purchasing a caravan

1. Talk to people who already own a caravan

Owners of caravans have already been through the process at least once, so you can learn a lot from their experience - especially their mistakes. If you haven’t already discovered, the caravanning community enjoy a chat and they’ll only be too happy to share their knowledge and highlight factors you may not have considered.

2. Visit caravan, camper trailer & RV dealerships

Inspect the range of vehicles that are on offer and don’t be afraid to ask even the most basic questions. Dealers really want your business and will help you select the right caravan for your needs.

When buying an RV, it’s important that you understand what’s included and what’s not. It may involve a bit of legwork, but you really will gain a good insight into what options are available and why.

3. Attend caravan and camping shows in your state

These are well supported by the caravan and camping industry and provide the best opportunity for you to directly compare different vehicles, brands and models in one convenient location. Every state has shows, as do many regional centers. They often run for several days, so take your time to explore your options, collect brochures and speak to the staff.

And while you’re there, there are thousands of associated products and services you can checkout. Shows are a one-stop-shop for everything you need to plan and gear up for your next trip.

4. Read up

There are a number of credible caravan and camping magazines and websites that provide product reviews, tips and expert articles. It’s a great way to develop your product and travel knowledge before you even step out the door.

Check out cilinsurance.com.au/campsite. It’s part of the CIL Insurance website and features a wealth of caravanning information for people who are considering a purchase, including caravan and product reviews, videos on towing and links to caravan & RV dealers across Australia.

5. Try before you buy

A weekend rental, or even longer, will give you a good appreciation of different RVs and what to expect. You’ll get real hands-on experience regarding the many facets of caravanning, including towing and the suitability of your car and its towing capacity. Remember it’s also important to check the maximum ball-loading limit to ensure your vehicle and caravan are a match.

Many people select the wrong size caravan in the first instance, so try before you buy!

6. Take a towing course

Don't let the fear of towing deter you from purchasing the RV you want. Accredited courses are readily available to help improve your towing skills and confidence.

7. The final step – insurance

Whether you choose a caravan, camper trailer or motorhome, get the right insurance to protect both you and your RV before you hit the road. Whilst caravanning opens up a whole new way to travel, your caravan will be exposed to the elements and many other associated risks.

Anastasia Alexopoulos, Insurance Manager from CIL, points out “Caravanning is an adventure, and it’s a great way to experience everything this great country has to offer. But anything can happen from rollovers, hail, storms and collisions, so it’s important to be insured with a specialist. With 50 years experience, we know what it is like on the road, and that’s why we offer the broadest caravan, RV and contents cover. Plus, we’re there when you need us Australia wide”

Sounds like a lot of things to consider, but every trip should be a carefree adventure - whether you’re a young family or retired couple, or anyone in between. Caravanning is more than just a holiday - it’s a way of life, so plan and make the most it.

CIL Insurance is a division of Vero Insurance Limited ABN 48 005 297 807, the insurer of the insurance products. Please consider the relevant PDS available from CIL before purchase by calling 1800 112 481.

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CIL Campsite

Campsite is perfect for anyone interested in the caravanning and RV lifestyle. It includes directories, things to see and do, product information, and even travel and towing tips.

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Eligible CIL customers* can access a range of easy-to-access discounts off everyday items like fuel, groceries and bigger purchases like whitegoods, furniture and electronics.

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